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A shallow white ceramic bowl full of pasta.
Provare serves a unique Creole-Italian menu in West Town.
Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

The Hottest New Restaurants in Chicago, January 2022

Ring in the New Year with carbs and meats, plus a little tea to cleanse the soul

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Provare serves a unique Creole-Italian menu in West Town.
| Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

January is a peculiar dining month in Chicago where temps plunge and locals begin nesting, wanting a recharge from the hectic holiday season. Omicron has added an addition unwanted variable to the mix for 2022, but that doesn’t mean Chicagoans can’t enjoy a great meal. Welcome to the first Eater Chicago Heatmap of the year where comfort foods, like pasta and soup, are easy to find, and takeout options exist for those staying cautious. For the January edition, there’s stellar sober bar in Andersonville, a unique French-Creole restaurant in West Town, the return of a red sauce legend downtown, and a celebrity chef’s flashy two-floor restaurant near the Chicago River.

As of January 3, the city has mandated that those ages 5 and up be fully vaccinated and masked at public places indoors while not actively eating or drinking. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kitchen + Kocktails Chicago

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444 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 659-1951
Visit Website

This is the second location of a Dallas restaurant that combines a trendy dining room with spaces that beg customers to make Instagram posts and upscale comfort food. It’s a genre that modernizes Southern cuisine popularized by Black America. Owner Kevin Kelley wants his new restaurant to complement Chicago’s dining scene, to be a celebratory place where diners nosh on huge chops drizzled with Asian Hennessy glaze and a cornucopia of chicken and waffle options. There’s also creative cocktails and a lounge. Reservations are recommended.

A wide open dining room with wooden floors, a bright mural and a chandelier. Photo was taken at night.
The former Benny’s Chop House is reborn in River North.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

2. Urbanspace

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15 W Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602

Food halls aren’t a passing fad, even during a pandemic. Urbanspace is a collection of 12 stalls and a bar (there’s room for 20 restaurants) with a mix of local favorites (Happy Lobster, Edzo’s Burger Shop, Budlong, Isla Pilipina) and imports (Roberta’s Pizza, Plant Junkie, Pita Yeero). Toss in some new concepts (Bianca’s BBQ, Bhoomi) and this is a formidable spot for Loop dining.

A round, thin crust pizza cheese and pepperoni.
Roberta’s Pizza is finally here in Chicago.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

3. Solazo

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5600 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 627-5047
Visit Website

This is the rebirth of a family-owned Mexican restaurant in Archer Heights, near Midway International Airport. Solazo’s ownership learned a few lessons when it opened La Josie along Randolph Restaurant Row in West Loop. They’ve applied those lessons at their original restaurant without sacrificing the neighborhood feel. The tacos, queso, and other items have never tasted better, but now customers can enjoy amped up cocktails.

Two meat tacos on a plate
Solazo’s tacos are back.
Solazo

4. Alla Vita

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564 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 667-0104
Visit Website

Boka Restaurant Group strikes again the West Loop with Alla Vita, its jack of all trades Italian restaurant with pastas and pizzas aimed to please a diverse audience of families, couples, and tourists along Randolph Street. The former Bellemore gets a facelift with plants, a wine installation, and a sleeker design. Reservations are recommended.

A large wooden table laid with lots of Italian dishes
Alla Vita is the latest Boka hit.
Alla Vita/Galdones Photography

5. Bocadillo Market

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2342 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 857-0331
Visit Website

This Spanish all-day restaurant from D.C. native James Martin is a sleeper hit in Lincoln Park. The former A10 chef features a morning menu with coffee and pastries. The all-day menu, ideal for lunch, focuses on bocadillos, the elusive Spanish small sandwiches that haven’t quite caught on in Chicago. Find smoked lamb, fried calamari, and jamon Serrano options. The dinner menu includes heavy hitters like paella and tapas favorites like patatas bravas, and non-traditional items like foie gras with berry and beet jam.

6. Armitage Alehouse

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1000 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 270-6402
Visit Website

Not many in Lincoln Park expected a London-style Anglo-Indian pub from the owners of Au Cheval. But after months of not saying a thing, Hogsalt Hospitality opened Armitage Alehouse featuring British-style curries, savory pot pies, and Guinness and Harp at the bar. English pubs are known for being casual, allowing patrons to drop in and out at their leisure. At the sleek and dark Armitage Alehouse, customers will need luck to grab a reservation.

The exterior of a restaurant with black frames with a window surrounded by green ivy.
Armitage Alehouse
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

7. Ed Debevic's

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159 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 374-8499
Visit Website

Chicago can eat at Ed’s once more. After their longtime home in River North was razed to make way for a new development, the sometimes tacky — yet nostalgic — Ed Debevic’s searched for a new home. Owners found one in Streeterville. Find the same faux ‘50s vibe with sassy servers throwing out their retro shtick. Burgers, shakes, and breakfast return for the ride.

blue and white striped diner booths in the foreground in front of a yellow wall with a pink neon sign that reads “Eat at Ed’s”
Ed’s is back.
Aimee Levitt/Eater Chicago

8. Cafe Trinidad ToGo

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2537 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

Doubles, a Trini delicacy, are featured at Cafe Trinidad ToGo, the return of a Grand Crossing restaurant that closed in 2016. The island cuisine sees many influence, including African, Syrian, and Indian — all byproducts of colonization and slavery. Powered by a Caribbean version of roti, doubles are filled with chickpeas, potatoes, or goat and lamb curry, a sweeter version than most would expect. Cafe Trinidad’s return gives Chicagoans a delicious option for this vital dish. The Reader’s Mike Sula has more.

9. Claudia

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1952 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 697-9486
Visit Website

Claudia, the fine dining restaurant in Bucktown from chef Trevor Teich, is the culmination for years of searching for a permanent home for his pop-up. The storied space, where chefs like Stephanie Izard and Takashi Yagihashi cooked, has been revamped. The main dining room is where Teich’s playful tasting menu is served. On the first floor, toward the rear of the building, the bar sits with a range of items from lobster pot pie, dry-aged steak, and a fantastic wine list. While it’s more casual than upstairs, it doesn’t represent compromise.

a marble bar with chairs and bottles of booze
Claudia’s bar has full service.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

10. Kasama

Copy Link
1001 N Winchester Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 697-3790
Visit Website

Chicago’s only Filipino fine dining experience is the hottest table in town as Kasama began dinner service in November. The Ukrainian Village cafe continues morning and afternoon hours, but later in the day the operation shuts down to allow staff to prepare to serve chef Tim Flores’ unique tasting menu. Flores riffs on classic dishes like lumpia and pancit, while offering modern ingredients like A5 wagyu. Pasty chef and co-owner Genie Kwon serves up halo-halo and more surprises for dessert. Kasama is among America’s Best New Restaurants. 

A chef wearing an apron and white shirt, and a black face mask, is plating three ice-filled shallow dishes on a kitchen. Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

11. Talard Thai Asian Market

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5353 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 942-6566
Visit Website

Talard Thai Asian Market is the largest Thai grocer in Chicago and a wonderland for home cooks. The store opened in 2019, but thanks to COVID-19, business suffered as many Chicagoans were unaware of this special place. Not only does the market carry hard-to-find item, but it also has a cafe with a rotating menu of 20 items from papaya salad, crispy pork belly, and a variety of curries.

A steam table with four compartments filled with curry. The two on the left are reddish while the two on the right are yellow
Talard Asian Market has delicious food for carryout.
Mistey Nguyen/Eater Chicago

12. Segnatore

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1001 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 697-9687
Visit Website

Segnatore has some huge shoes to fill in Humboldt Park as the Italian restaurant opened in the same space where much loved French restaurant Cafe Marie-Jeanne spent five years on the corner of Augusta and Chicago. The new tenant is from the owners of Good Measure in River North, and an attempt to grow the brand with pastas, whole-fried chicken, and a list of fancy drinks and wines. The owners also plan on reopening the dive across the street, California Clipper, on New Year’s Eve.

An oval dish with fried chicken with hands off screen squirting lemon juice.
Whole fried chicken
Segnatore/Brad Danner

13. Hot Chi Chicken & Cones

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100 W 87th St
Chicago, IL 60620

In Chatham, a former Harold’s Chicken Shack has been replaced with a new fried chicken spot that takes aim at a certain spinach-eating sailor. Hot Chi Chicken & Cones, features the Popeyes Ain’t Shit sandwich, and as the Tribune shares, the restaurant is a fun mix of Nashville hot and Middle Eastern fare. Prepare to wait in long lines.

14. 3 Little Pigs

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3220 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60651

As dining rooms closed during the pandemic, carry out and delivery reigned. One of the most popular to-go operations came from Henry Cai, a Chicago native inspired by his father’s exploits working at Chinese restaurants. Cai started selling Chinese-American food via Instagram at 3 Little Pigs. The response to his Cantonese cooking, with his signature three-pork fried rice, noodles, and dumplings was tremendous. He’s now found a home in Humboldt Park where he can make food six days a week (carry out only for now, delivery coming soon). The operation will expand once he gets more kitchen equipment as he’ll bring back his delectable smoked ribs and more. Cai is hopeful to open in a new location with a dining room sometime in 2022.

15. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés

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110 N Upper Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 820-6601
Visit Website

Humanitarian chef José Andrés teamed up with Gibsons Restaurant Group on a two-level downtown space overlooking the Chicago River inside the new Bank of America Tower. Bar Mar is a seafood-focused happy hour venue with a raw bar and fancy cocktails. The space is light, and perfect for pre-theater drinks and bites. The top floor is where ThinkFoodGroup brings a tried-and-trusted concept its opened in other cities. Bazaar Meat is more intimate with dark reds and pricey cuts of rare meat, like imported cured jamón from Spain and Japanese wagyu. Reservations highly recommended.

Bazaar Meat is from José Andrés.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

16. Carlucci Restaurant Chicago

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400 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 598-1000
Visit Website

Joe Carlucci is a revered name for many Chicagoans who missed his Italian-American fare after his city restaurant closed in 1997 in Lincoln Park. Carlucci has returned with a new space in Lakeshore East, packing all the red sauce goodness that loyal fans loved.

A bay of windows with the names of Italian cities in the top panel, with a brown banquette, bar stools, and tables Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

17. Eli Tea Bar

Copy Link
5507 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(248) 825-8064
Visit Website

Eli Tea is imported from the suburbs of Detroit, where the Birmingham, Michigan cafe has produced blended tea drinks with an international flair. There’s hot and cold milk tea and boba beverages, and serious teas that drinkers won’t find anywhere else. In Chicago, the Andersonville location embraces the LGBTQ community, and wants to give drinkers an alternative to alcohol and a venue where customers can hang and mingle. Recently, they’ve added samosas from Tasting India, a pop-up from local chef Jasmine Sheth.

A man in a mask and plastic gloves prepares three drinks in glass mugs with apple slices and cinnamon sticks
Eli Tea recently opened in Andersonville.
Kim Kovacik/Eater Chicago

18. Provare Chicago

Copy Link
1421 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 988-0943
Visit Website

West Town is lucky enough to have Provare, one of the city’s most unique restaurants serving what chef Jourdan Higgs calls “Creole Italian.” There’s homemade pasta and fried calamari tossed with banana peppers. The salmon egg rolls are addicting, and the lamb chops are truly special occasional food. The long and narrow space is often bustling during primetime dinner hours. Takeout is also available.

Provare is bustling in West Town.
Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

1. Kitchen + Kocktails Chicago

444 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
A wide open dining room with wooden floors, a bright mural and a chandelier. Photo was taken at night.
The former Benny’s Chop House is reborn in River North.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

This is the second location of a Dallas restaurant that combines a trendy dining room with spaces that beg customers to make Instagram posts and upscale comfort food. It’s a genre that modernizes Southern cuisine popularized by Black America. Owner Kevin Kelley wants his new restaurant to complement Chicago’s dining scene, to be a celebratory place where diners nosh on huge chops drizzled with Asian Hennessy glaze and a cornucopia of chicken and waffle options. There’s also creative cocktails and a lounge. Reservations are recommended.

444 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

2. Urbanspace

15 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
A round, thin crust pizza cheese and pepperoni.
Roberta’s Pizza is finally here in Chicago.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Food halls aren’t a passing fad, even during a pandemic. Urbanspace is a collection of 12 stalls and a bar (there’s room for 20 restaurants) with a mix of local favorites (Happy Lobster, Edzo’s Burger Shop, Budlong, Isla Pilipina) and imports (Roberta’s Pizza, Plant Junkie, Pita Yeero). Toss in some new concepts (Bianca’s BBQ, Bhoomi) and this is a formidable spot for Loop dining.

15 W Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602

3. Solazo

5600 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60629
Two meat tacos on a plate
Solazo’s tacos are back.
Solazo

This is the rebirth of a family-owned Mexican restaurant in Archer Heights, near Midway International Airport. Solazo’s ownership learned a few lessons when it opened La Josie along Randolph Restaurant Row in West Loop. They’ve applied those lessons at their original restaurant without sacrificing the neighborhood feel. The tacos, queso, and other items have never tasted better, but now customers can enjoy amped up cocktails.

5600 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629

4. Alla Vita

564 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661
A large wooden table laid with lots of Italian dishes
Alla Vita is the latest Boka hit.
Alla Vita/Galdones Photography

Boka Restaurant Group strikes again the West Loop with Alla Vita, its jack of all trades Italian restaurant with pastas and pizzas aimed to please a diverse audience of families, couples, and tourists along Randolph Street. The former Bellemore gets a facelift with plants, a wine installation, and a sleeker design. Reservations are recommended.

564 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661

5. Bocadillo Market

2342 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

This Spanish all-day restaurant from D.C. native James Martin is a sleeper hit in Lincoln Park. The former A10 chef features a morning menu with coffee and pastries. The all-day menu, ideal for lunch, focuses on bocadillos, the elusive Spanish small sandwiches that haven’t quite caught on in Chicago. Find smoked lamb, fried calamari, and jamon Serrano options. The dinner menu includes heavy hitters like paella and tapas favorites like patatas bravas, and non-traditional items like foie gras with berry and beet jam.

2342 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

6. Armitage Alehouse

1000 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
The exterior of a restaurant with black frames with a window surrounded by green ivy.
Armitage Alehouse
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Not many in Lincoln Park expected a London-style Anglo-Indian pub from the owners of Au Cheval. But after months of not saying a thing, Hogsalt Hospitality opened Armitage Alehouse featuring British-style curries, savory pot pies, and Guinness and Harp at the bar. English pubs are known for being casual, allowing patrons to drop in and out at their leisure. At the sleek and dark Armitage Alehouse, customers will need luck to grab a reservation.

1000 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

7. Ed Debevic's

159 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
blue and white striped diner booths in the foreground in front of a yellow wall with a pink neon sign that reads “Eat at Ed’s”
Ed’s is back.
Aimee Levitt/Eater Chicago

Chicago can eat at Ed’s once more. After their longtime home in River North was razed to make way for a new development, the sometimes tacky — yet nostalgic — Ed Debevic’s searched for a new home. Owners found one in Streeterville. Find the same faux ‘50s vibe with sassy servers throwing out their retro shtick. Burgers, shakes, and breakfast return for the ride.

159 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611

8. Cafe Trinidad ToGo

2537 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Doubles, a Trini delicacy, are featured at Cafe Trinidad ToGo, the return of a Grand Crossing restaurant that closed in 2016. The island cuisine sees many influence, including African, Syrian, and Indian — all byproducts of colonization and slavery. Powered by a Caribbean version of roti, doubles are filled with chickpeas, potatoes, or goat and lamb curry, a sweeter version than most would expect. Cafe Trinidad’s return gives Chicagoans a delicious option for this vital dish. The Reader’s Mike Sula has more.

2537 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

9. Claudia

1952 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
a marble bar with chairs and bottles of booze
Claudia’s bar has full service.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Claudia, the fine dining restaurant in Bucktown from chef Trevor Teich, is the culmination for years of searching for a permanent home for his pop-up. The storied space, where chefs like Stephanie Izard and Takashi Yagihashi cooked, has been revamped. The main dining room is where Teich’s playful tasting menu is served. On the first floor, toward the rear of the building, the bar sits with a range of items from lobster pot pie, dry-aged steak, and a fantastic wine list. While it’s more casual than upstairs, it doesn’t represent compromise.

1952 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

10. Kasama

1001 N Winchester Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
A chef wearing an apron and white shirt, and a black face mask, is plating three ice-filled shallow dishes on a kitchen. Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

Chicago’s only Filipino fine dining experience is the hottest table in town as Kasama began dinner service in November. The Ukrainian Village cafe continues morning and afternoon hours, but later in the day the operation shuts down to allow staff to prepare to serve chef Tim Flores’ unique tasting menu. Flores riffs on classic dishes like lumpia and pancit, while offering modern ingredients like A5 wagyu. Pasty chef and co-owner Genie Kwon serves up halo-halo and more surprises for dessert. Kasama is among America’s Best New Restaurants. 

1001 N Winchester Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

11. Talard Thai Asian Market

5353 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
A steam table with four compartments filled with curry. The two on the left are reddish while the two on the right are yellow
Talard Asian Market has delicious food for carryout.
Mistey Nguyen/Eater Chicago

Talard Thai Asian Market is the largest Thai grocer in Chicago and a wonderland for home cooks. The store opened in 2019, but thanks to COVID-19, business suffered as many Chicagoans were unaware of this special place. Not only does the market carry hard-to-find item, but it also has a cafe with a rotating menu of 20 items from papaya salad, crispy pork belly, and a variety of curries.

5353 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640

12. Segnatore

1001 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
An oval dish with fried chicken with hands off screen squirting lemon juice.
Whole fried chicken
Segnatore/Brad Danner

Segnatore has some huge shoes to fill in Humboldt Park as the Italian restaurant opened in the same space where much loved French restaurant Cafe Marie-Jeanne spent five years on the corner of Augusta and Chicago. The new tenant is from the owners of Good Measure in River North, and an attempt to grow the brand with pastas, whole-fried chicken, and a list of fancy drinks and wines. The owners also plan on reopening the dive across the street, California Clipper, on New Year’s Eve.

1001 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

13. Hot Chi Chicken & Cones

100 W 87th St, Chicago, IL 60620

In Chatham, a former Harold’s Chicken Shack has been replaced with a new fried chicken spot that takes aim at a certain spinach-eating sailor. Hot Chi Chicken & Cones, features the Popeyes Ain’t Shit sandwich, and as the Tribune shares, the restaurant is a fun mix of Nashville hot and Middle Eastern fare. Prepare to wait in long lines.

100 W 87th St
Chicago, IL 60620

14. 3 Little Pigs

3220 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60651

As dining rooms closed during the pandemic, carry out and delivery reigned. One of the most popular to-go operations came from Henry Cai, a Chicago native inspired by his father’s exploits working at Chinese restaurants. Cai started selling Chinese-American food via Instagram at 3 Little Pigs. The response to his Cantonese cooking, with his signature three-pork fried rice, noodles, and dumplings was tremendous. He’s now found a home in Humboldt Park where he can make food six days a week (carry out only for now, delivery coming soon). The operation will expand once he gets more kitchen equipment as he’ll bring back his delectable smoked ribs and more. Cai is hopeful to open in a new location with a dining room sometime in 2022.

3220 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60651

15. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés

110 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
Bazaar Meat is from José Andrés.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Humanitarian chef José Andrés teamed up with Gibsons Restaurant Group on a two-level downtown space overlooking the Chicago River inside the new Bank of America Tower. Bar Mar is a seafood-focused happy hour venue with a raw bar and fancy cocktails. The space is light, and perfect for pre-theater drinks and bites. The top floor is where ThinkFoodGroup brings a tried-and-trusted concept its opened in other cities. Bazaar Meat is more intimate with dark reds and pricey cuts of rare meat, like imported cured jamón from Spain and Japanese wagyu. Reservations highly recommended.

110 N Upper Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606

Related Maps

16. Carlucci Restaurant Chicago

400 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
A bay of windows with the names of Italian cities in the top panel, with a brown banquette, bar stools, and tables Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Joe Carlucci is a revered name for many Chicagoans who missed his Italian-American fare after his city restaurant closed in 1997 in Lincoln Park. Carlucci has returned with a new space in Lakeshore East, packing all the red sauce goodness that loyal fans loved.

400 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

17. Eli Tea Bar

5507 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
A man in a mask and plastic gloves prepares three drinks in glass mugs with apple slices and cinnamon sticks
Eli Tea recently opened in Andersonville.
Kim Kovacik/Eater Chicago

Eli Tea is imported from the suburbs of Detroit, where the Birmingham, Michigan cafe has produced blended tea drinks with an international flair. There’s hot and cold milk tea and boba beverages, and serious teas that drinkers won’t find anywhere else. In Chicago, the Andersonville location embraces the LGBTQ community, and wants to give drinkers an alternative to alcohol and a venue where customers can hang and mingle. Recently, they’ve added samosas from Tasting India, a pop-up from local chef Jasmine Sheth.

5507 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

18. Provare Chicago

1421 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Provare is bustling in West Town.
Daija Guy/Eater Chicago

West Town is lucky enough to have Provare, one of the city’s most unique restaurants serving what chef Jourdan Higgs calls “Creole Italian.” There’s homemade pasta and fried calamari tossed with banana peppers. The salmon egg rolls are addicting, and the lamb chops are truly special occasional food. The long and narrow space is often bustling during primetime dinner hours. Takeout is also available.

1421 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

Related Maps